Rift Between White House, Netanyahu Grows Over Gaza War 

The rift between Israel and the US is increasing, experts say. Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu posted a video to social media recently saying the US is withholding weapons, but American National Security Adviser John Kirby insists this paints an inaccurate picture. Cracks are also showing inside Israel as Netanyahu clashes with his military commanders over Hamas’s fate. 

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Read Adm. Daniel Hagari publicly stated that promising an end to Hamas is “throwing sand in the eyes of the public.” Netanyahu, however, has pledged to destroy the terror group since its attack on October 7 last year. The pledge has also brought him into frustrating conflict with Washington, DC, where the Israeli Prime Minister is under growing pressure to present a vision for the future and to clarify what will end the war and what will happen afterward. 

Netanyahu’s office replied to Hagari’s comments with a tentative definition of its aim, which is to destroy the military wing and governing capabilities of Hamas. The IDF similarly sought to present clarification and said Hagari’s remarks related only to ideology rather than the physical organization. 

There are continued disagreements between US and Israeli leaders on weapons shipments, with Mr. Kirby insisting that aid continues to flow to Tel Aviv. The White House, however, also acknowledges that some shipments are paused due to President Biden’s concerns that they will be used offensively in Rafah. 

The President has repeatedly warned Israel not to launch a ground offensive in the southern Gazan city, but Israel maintains it is the last remaining Hamas stronghold. 

Despite US warnings, Israel’s forces entered Rafah in late May after ordering a civilian evacuation. The move met with fierce criticism from international bodies, including the International Court of Justice, a United Nations tribunal that ordered the Jewish state to cease operations. Israel ignored the ruling and carried on. Mr. Netanyahu said his country will act unilaterally if necessary and fight to their “fingernails” to protect their people.